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Politics and Government

Syracuse councilors weigh in on mayor race, expectations for Miner's State of the City speech

Tom Magnarelli
Syracuse common councilors.

As she prepares to step down at the end of the year, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner will give her state of the city speech on Thursday outlining her priorities for 2017. While the field is wide open for who will be the next mayor, some Syracuse Common Councilors are weighing in on what they would like Miner to focus on in the meantime.

Councilor Helen Hudson made her thoughts clear about running for mayor.

“Absolutely not, absolutely not,” Hudson said.

Hudson said she thinks Miner will focus on addressing poverty in her state of the city speech and said the next mayor will need to focus on this continuing problem as well.

“You have to," Hudson said. "Because if you cannot bring your city back, you’ll see tumbleweeds rolling down the street. Syracuse was deemed number one in concentrated poverty for blacks and Latinos, but that didn't exclude Rochester, that didn't exclude Buffalo, all of our big fives in the state of New York were all in the same position. We're all trying to scramble and do the work so that we can right ourselves from all the things that have been perpetuated over time. Now we have to unravel it."

Councilor Khalid Bey said he too is not considering a run for mayor. Careful not to criticize the current administration, Bey said the next mayor needs to come up with some new ideas.

“Anybody who is innovative right now, we need innovation," Bey said. "We talked years ago about a creative versus a service culture. We need to be pushed more in a creative direction. Service certainly sustains us but it won’t help us improve. We need ideas for attracting that new money. Not saying anything against the existing ideas, but you have to continually reinvent yourself. I think Syracuse is slowly going through a renaissance. Slowly. We just need to hit the accelerator a little bit.”

And fixing Syracuse’s fiscal problems is also a top priority for Councilor Joe Nicoletti.

“The mayor when she took office, came into a city that was facing difficult times financially as well as a high poverty rate, high unemployment rate,” Nicoletti said.

He congratulated Miner on making another hotel redevelopment deal in downtown Syracuse.

"I do know that she has shown that she has been working very hard for example on the Symphony Tower at the Hotel Syracuse," Nicoletti said. "It was very important for her to get that on the block. I'm sure she's going to keep on pushing right until the end of her term."

Nicoletti ran against and lost to Miner in the Democratic primary for mayor in 2009. Will he run again?

“We’ll talk about that at a later date,” Nicoletti said.